A single starfish Aurora kinase performs the combined functions of Aurora-A and Aurora-B in human cells

Y. Abe, E. Okumura, T. Hosoya, T. Hirota, T. Kishimoto
2010 Journal of Cell Science  
Aurora, an essential mitotic kinase, is highly conserved during evolution. Most vertebrates have at least two Aurora kinases, Aurora-A and Aurora-B, which have distinct functions in the centrosome-spindle and inner centromere-midbody, respectively. However, some non-vertebrate deuterostomes have only a single Aurora. It remains to be verified whether the single Aurora performs the same functions as vertebrate Auroras A and B combined. We have isolated a cDNA of a single Aurora (ApAurora) from
more » ... e echinoderm starfish, Asterina pectinifera, and show that ApAurora displays most features of both Aurora-A and Aurora-B in starfish oocytes and early embryos. Furthermore, ApAurora that is stably expressed in HeLa cells can substitute for both human Aurora-A and Aurora-B when either is reduced by RNAi. A single ApAurora thus has properties of both Aurora-A and Aurora-B in starfish eggs and HeLa cells. Together with phylogenetic analysis indicating that ApAurora forms a clade with all types of vertebrate Auroras and single Auroras of non-vertebrate deuterostomes, our observations support the idea that the single Aurora found in non-vertebrate deuterostomes represents the ancestor that gave rise to various types of vertebrate Auroras. This study thus provides functional evidence for phylogenetic considerations.
doi:10.1242/jcs.076315 pmid:21048162 fatcat:6en42vyewjc4rggornkokri5gy